More than 1,400 warehouse staff at Argos DCs began a two-week strike today (17 May) fearing a “contracting-out culture” and job security.

Unite said its members at DCs in Basildon, Bridgewater, Burton-on-Trent, Heywood and Lutterworth fear contracting work out to other suppliers will lead to job losses and deterioration in terms and conditions.

Unite national officer Matt Draper said: “Argos has sought to use the law to ride roughshod over its workers’ concerns and refused to engage positively. Members are fearful a contracting culture will take hold,” adding, “the silence from Argos points to a cost cutting agenda.”

Argos had taken the strike to the high court, but yesterday (16 May) a judge ruled the strike could go ahead.

An Argos spokesperson said: “We believe this dispute to be wholly unnecessary as the union has made a series of demands in the knowledge that they cannot be met.”

“We are disappointed with the court’s ruling against our injunction based on a technicality but will be submitting a further application.”

In January, Argos said it would be closing its Magna Park, Lutterworth, transferring 400 staff under Tupe to Wincanton’s Kettering site. The announcement led to protests in March after Argos failed to guarantee staff their futures within the business.

by Grace Wood